Culture /
Lifestyle

The 5 x 5: The Best of Italian Cities

SEPTEMBER

 

An only somewhat subjective list of what our favorite Italian cities are best at:

 

1. TRANSPORTATION

The most thrilling city to drive in: NAPLES 😉

 

The city with the best metro system: MILAN (Does Rome’s even count?)

 

The most walkable city: ROME (Because it’s literally the only way to get around. Bikes? Dangerous. Busses? Don’t show up. Metro? See entry above.)

 

The city with the most bike lanes: MODENA (has 198.34 km of bike paths!)

 

The best city to reach by funicular: ORVIETO

Subway in Milan

Pantheon, Rome

 

2. ARCHITECTURE

The city with the most bridges: VENICE (has 391!)

 

The city with the largest collection of Rationalist buildings: TRESIGALLO 

 

The city with the longest portici: BOLOGNA (they stretch across 62km of the city!)

 

The city with the biggest piazza in Italy: PADOVA (the elliptical Prato delle Valle covers 90,000 square meters!)

 

The first European (!) city with paved streets: FLORENCE (upon which Da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, Dante Alighieri, Galileo Galilei, the Medicis and us here at Italy Segreta have walked, just to name a few notables)

 

3. FOOD

The city with the best truffles: ALBA (sorry, Tuscany!)

 

The city with the most sustainable agriculture: VARESE LIGURE (plus the local charcuterie and cheeses are divine)

 

The city where you can find the richest cup of coffee: TURIN for its historic bicerin (Though it’s not the most expensive city for coffee! That would be Ferrara at an average of 1.18€ per espresso)

 

The best city for an arancina: PALERMO

 

The best city for an arancino: CATANIA

 

(The second greatest culinary debate after cappelletti vs. tortellini)

Al Bicerin, Turin

 

4. CULTURE

The city where the most films have been shot: ROME (1,511 movies have been filmed in Rome, many of which we can thank Cinecittà for) 

 

The city with the most art drama: VENICE (both for the Biennale and the Film Festival… We are worried, darling.) 

 

The best city for Puglian ceramics: GROTTAGLIE (check out our favorite artisans!)

 

The best city to see minimalist Donald Judd’s art: VARESE (at the 18th-century Villa Panza)

 

The city with the best funk scene: NAPLES (from Pompeii-born Pino D’Angio to contemporary Nu Genea)

Antonio Fasano, Grottaglie. Photo by Letizia Cigliutti

Venice

 

5. OFF THE BEATEN PATH

The happiest city: CAGLIARI (according to Twitter… 67.4% of tweets from the city were positive, more than anywhere else in Italy)

 

The most like a 70s movie set: FANO (but one of those “real” Italian nostalgic movies that never made it outside national borders)

 

The city where you can find the best orange wines: UDINE (look for wines with the local ribolla gialla grape!)

 

The best spot to enjoy the sea without crowds: MARATEA (whose name derives from Greek and means “goddess of the sea”) 

 

The city that secretly has the “most beautiful kilometer in Italy”: REGGIO CALABRIA (the Lungomare Falcomatà makes you breathe a contemporary cross-section of a region that is always too painted as backward)

Cagliari

Fano